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Comic-Con 2010 -- New and improved!

I'm going to go out on a limb and start a NEW thread for Comic-Con 2010 food options. Each year I manage to wrangle a press pass, and brave the Friday crowds with my 2 youngest kids. There are tons of eating options to choose from in the immediate vicinity, some better than others (and some -- mostly within the confines of the Convention Center -- unmentionable).

Last year I took my kids to Tin Fish for lunch and landed a table outside after about five minutes of searching. Food was okay, not great. The year before, we had a GREAT lunch at McCormick and Schmick's. Plenty of tables available, no wait.

Any other recommendations for the 125,000+ hungry Comic-Con attendees who will be scouring the Convention Center perimeter for food next week?

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  1. The Kebab Shop on 9th. Get a lamb doner. Tasty, inexpensive, fast and portable.

    24 Replies
    1. re: Island

      The different doner variations at the Kebab Shop are lousy (and don't have much to do with doner). The kebab plates are at least edible

      1. re: honkman

        Too each his own and what they call it is is immaterial.

        1. re: Island

          Unless you go there expecting a doner kebab, of course.

          1. re: Josh

            And if your definition is the narrowest possible. Of course one could also check out their website and see what their options are.

            1. re: Island

              I've eaten there. The falafel is good.

              1. re: Island

                They describe their definition of a doner kebab themsleves on their own webpage. So it is not my definition. Unfortunately their product hasn't much to do with their definition.

                1. re: honkman

                  What about their doner kebab makes it not? You sure say this a whole lot every thread but haven't yet explained yourself. You even say it doesn't remotely resemble a doner kebab, which is just batty.

                  The proper words you're looking for is "not authentic" or "not good". You're resorting to some pretty weak hyperbole if you reread some of your own comments this year about it.

                  Strictly speaking, America doesn't really have proper pizza, sandwitches, or even hamburgers because none of these three strictly qualify under their original definition. Even Italy doesn't serve proper pizza under the original recipe.

            2. re: Island

              If they call it doner kebab it should at least remotely resemble a doner kebab. And even if it doesn't resemble it the food should be at least good, which again is not the case. The Mira Mesa location is significantly better (with the doner kebab the sad exception).

              1. re: honkman

                I agree its not doner but I really liked it last time I went

            3. re: honkman

              Though The Kebob Shop's doners pale in comparison to my favorite truck in Oxford, England, why would you say they "don't have much to do with doner?" Am I missing something?

              1. re: Captain Jack

                Wrong bread for a doner (theirs was more a bad copy of a durum doner), flavorless meat which has nothing to do with how doner meat should taste (wrong spices) and it was not enough roasted/charred, and doner kebab sauce isn't just some yoghurt with a few spices.
                I had a lot of great food when I lived in England but Turkish (including doner kebab) wasn't one of them since the turkish community is relatively small and mainly focussed on London where they have a few good shops/restaurants.

                1. re: honkman

                  I agree that The Kebob Shop's doner kebab sauce falls flat on its face. The truck I patronized while living in Oxford had several sauces, but their Spicy Garlic rocked my world. There are quite a few Donor Kebab trucks in Oxford serving late night food to all the college students. I tried them all, most were meh, but this one I found was a gem. It was the furthest one from Magdalen College where I was living, but it was worth the haul. I thought about it for a while, and it was not just one sauce. My buddy and I would ask for a combination of the Spicy Red Sauce and the Garlic Sauce.

                  1. re: honkman

                    You don't like it; I respect that, but doesn't resemble a doner? That's off. It refers to the to the lamb on the spit, which I'm sure you know. Traditional is served on a plate. To say that all have to be served the same way on the same exact bread, with the same sauce and spice profile is like saying there is only one acceptable definition of pizza. I've had them in Toronto, Sidney, Frankfurt and elsewhere and while each varied in taste, the MO was similar. The Kebab Shop doesn't hold a candle to some of those places, but Mira Mesa is much closer.

                    1. re: Island

                      It doesn't have to have exact the same ingredients but independently from that the overall quality of the meat and bread at the Kebab Shop was very disappointing even if they wouldn't sell it as a doner kebab. A bad dish is a bad dish.

                      1. re: honkman

                        In my opinion, you are being to hard on The Kebab Shop. The product they sell as a donor kebab is not a bad dish. It is just not living up to its potential.

                        1. re: Captain Jack

                          One thing I really miss from Germany (beside good bread and a currywurst) is a good Doner Kebab. I had high hopes especially since they write on their webpage that it is a European style Doner Kebab but I found it very disappointing. I guess it is like with every good food - once you have eaten something where it originated, e.g. pizza, pasta in Italy, Doner Kebab in Berlin, you always compare it and this shop would go out of business in a week in Berlin.

                          1. re: honkman

                            "this shop would go out of business in a week in Berlin."

                            I don't doubt that for a second.

                            I wish the owners would work on making improvements. I may e-mail them and complain about the sauces. When I was last there, all they had was that whimpy yogurt sauce. The least they could do is offer up a spicy red, and a garlic sauce. How tough could it be to figure out how to make those?

                            1. re: Captain Jack

                              The one in Mira Mesa has a spicy red similar to Harissa that is good with the Doner, ask for hot sauce. Would really like a garlic sauce. I'm pretty happy with the food at this location. I'll be in Germany in a couple of weeks and looking forward to having a legit Doner, probably will still like the Kebab shop. Lasts couple of trips the Falafel has been very good.

                              1. re: stevuchan

                                I have to wonder A) how many times you guys have been to The Kebab Shop, and B) how recently. I was just there a couple of weeks ago for the first time in a while and the sandwich was delicious - charred meat, tons of garlic in the white sauce (I had dragon breath ALL afternoon), fresh vegetables, warm wrapper. They also have hot sauce on the tables. It's a good inexpensive option that is not a taco shop - definitely, imo at least, worth recommending for Comicon crowds.

                                Also, I will add a shout out for Basic - great New Haven style pizza, just wish they had more beer and salad options. Also JSix for a nicer sit down spot, and of course, Cafe Chloe.

                                For a short cab ride, Blind Lady Ale House, Starlite and El Take it Easy are all fun, budget conscious options for great food. If you go to Blind Lady be sure to walk a block West to Viva Pops and grab a salted caramel or peach cobbler popsicle if it's hot out!

                                Cafe Chloe
                                721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                                Blind Lady Ale House
                                3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA

                                3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

                                JSix Restaurant
                                616 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101

                                The Kebab Shop
                                630 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                                1. re: Alice Q

                                  I have eaten at The Kebab Shop.

                                  I enjoyed a Lamb Doner.

                                  Thank you.

                                  1. re: Alice Q

                                    I'm on your side AQ, I like the Kebab Shop and frequent the Mira Mesa location at least 2X a month, had a Doner over the weekend. I mostly get yogurt from the sauce, esp the sauce they provide on the side.

                                    1. re: Alice Q

                                      It's just two guys spamming every thread about this over and over. Not kidding.

                                      1. re: royaljester

                                        Any reason why you chose to make this point almost a year after the fact?

                                        Hint: look at date stamps when responding to posts. :)

                        2. re: honkman

                          I never have seen the fladenbrot they used in Berlin in the state. My favorite place to eat doener was a 2 euro shop in the altstadt of Berlin's western bezirk of Spandau.

                  2. Walking Distance:
                    Cafe Chloe
                    Cowboy Star
                    Noble Experiment
                    Quality Social

                    Short Cab/Bus:
                    The Linkery
                    Hamilton's Tavern
                    El Take It Easy
                    Urban Solace
                    Cucina Urbana
                    Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant
                    Blue Water Grill
                    Ritual Tavern
                    Jayne's Gastropub
                    Farmhouse Cafe
                    Super Cocina
                    Tacos el Paisa
                    Mariscos German
                    Pizzeria Bruno
                    Blind Lady Alehouse
                    Cafe Dore

                    Aqui es Texcoco
                    Mariscos El Pescador
                    George's California Modern/George's Ocean Terrace
                    El Pescador
                    Kitchen 1540

                    3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                    Cafe Chloe
                    721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                    Urban Solace Restaurant
                    3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

                    Super Cocina
                    3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

                    Mariscos German
                    2802 Ocean View Blvd, San Diego, CA

                    Cavaillon Restaurant
                    14701 Via Bettona, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92127

                    Cafe Dore
                    4135 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92105

                    3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

                    Ritual Tavern
                    4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                    El Take It Easy
                    3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: DougOLis

                      Great list - unfamiliar with a couple of them but I'm guessing they're as solid as the ones I know. I'd add Wine Vault and Small Bar to the short cab ride list.

                      1. re: DougOLis

                        Wow -- awesome list -- thanks!

                        I'm going to drag the kids to Neighborhood for lunch next Friday. Can't wait!

                        1. re: DougOLis

                          I'm not a local, but:

                          One of the highlights of my visit last year was Chopahn, a pleasant walk from the convention area. It's now high on my list of priorities for this year. Good Afghan food should not be missed.

                          (Another highlight was breakfast at Cafe Chloe--lovely place.)

                        2. I know from past years that many of the Comic Con attendees are budget consious. With that in mind I will throw out:

                          Valentine's Mexican Food at 842 Market St.

                          This place is walking distance and has big portions, with reasonably cheap prices.

                          Their daily specials (guisados) can represent some pretty decent Mexican home-style cooking.

                          I think Valentine's is perfect for the budget minded Comic Coner.

                          1. Thanks for starting this thread. Last year a few friends & I went to Comic Con and the beaches, and we're going again this year to Comic Con. Here's our feedback from last year's spots:

                            DOWNTOWN (Walking Distance)

                            BASIC (pizza): Really tasty New Haven style pizza! The one place I'd revisit in a heartbeat. I loved the white pizza with mashed potato and lots of garlic -- sounded weird but boy was it delicious! The red pizza was fine but not as memorable.

                            COWBOY STAR (steak): Since our group was a bit large (9 people) they nicely seated us at a large table in a private room. Starters & steaks were all good; it's a solid choice but I wouldn't revisit it since nothing was extraordinary, and steakhouses are generally a bit expensive.

                            KARL STRAUSS (brewpub): This was right next to our hotel (the W) which is within walking distance of downtown, but not as centrally located as the above two restaurants. Comfortable brewpub atmosphere, food was dependable but nothing special, but for the price we were quite satisfied. If I were staying nearby I'd go here, but if not I wouldn't go out of the way for it.

                            ELSEWHERE (Driving)

                            George's Oceanview Terrace (seafood): Great place on a nice day and if you get to sit by the edge. Very solid food, delicious fish sandwich, but everything was a bit overpriced. Guess you pay for the upscale atmosphere.

                            South Beach Bar & Grill (Mexican): Excellent fish tacos a short distance away from Ocean Beach. The downside is that it's crazy packed and it took FOREVER to get a table for our large-ish (7 people) group -- they don't take reservations or get tables for you, you need to lamely hover over where people are sitting and hope they leave soon and you're not pressuring them too much. This year we're going with 12 people so we will likely skip.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: PekoePeony

                              Since you liked the fish tacos at SBB&G, you should try them at the nearby Mariscos German truck in the Apple Tree Market parking lot on Cable St. around the corner from Newport. They are much better than SBB&G. Try a Gobernador.

                            2. I was just reading through the Comic-Con parties section of the U-T and spotted this THURSDAY taco truck event pretty close to the Convention Center -- sounds like fun:

                              “Machete”: See director Robert Rodriguez and the cast of “Machete” — including Michelle Rodriguez — make food at the Machete Taco Truck from 5 to 8 p.m. Stay for a preview screening and party at 9 p.m. Five Star Parking lot, Fifth Avenue and J Street.

                              More Comic-Con parties and food and drinks and stuff here:


                              3 Replies
                              1. re: bizzwriter

                                Rodriguez has had video recipes as bonuses on a couple of his DVDs, so this makes at least some sense.

                                Here is his recipe for Puerco Pibil:


                                1. re: menuinprogress

                                  Excellent recipe video with superb editing and very good advice. Funny juvenile credits at the end.

                              2. Bump for 2011. Comic-Con and kebab talk!